The Pecos Mountains as seen from Pecos National Monument. Click on photograph to view enlarged version. Photograph: Arnold Woodworth.
Fever burned in me, white hot, turning the touch of bedsheets into torment. Spasms arched my body, locking all my muscles into bands of pain. My burning lungs were starving for air.
I kept trying to go deeper into my mind, trying to get to some inner refuge where I could get all that pain to just, somehow, stop. But the spasms kept on coming, while blackness rose all around me like a midnight tide until I was submerged in an ocean of darkness.
I found myself rising up out of my body, floating up into a vast dark place, into a world that was no world, into a place that had no where, no when. There was only the blackness of the void. Not like outer space, with its limitless stars and galaxies, but absolute darkness where there was nothing at all.
As I began to move through the endless blackness, I cried out into the silence, Where am I? What is this place? Please tell me where I am!
I looked down and my head began to spin as I realized I was seated cross-legged on nothing at all. I shook my head as I gazed down at myself, and then I closed my eyes so I wouldn't have to look at the endless black emptiness below me. I wanted to cry, but I could not shed a tear.
I sensed my Mother standing just behind my right shoulder, and I felt rather than heard her voice. "Wouldn't you like to come up here and be with us? We would like so much for you to come up here and be with us."
I turned my head and I looked all around, but there was no one there. No distant horizon, no stars, no markers of any kind. Just black on black.
I found myself looking up at an immense wrought-iron work of art, shaped like a morning glory. There were huge black petals all around a cavernous opening that was bigger than the SuperDome. Bigger than the great pyramids of Egypt. Bigger than just about anything on Earth.
Me and my magic carpet floated closer and closer, moving into the very center of that immense black flower. I felt infinitely small as I went gliding through that opening, on into a huge cavern where a thick black velvet darkness brushed against me.
I was inside a vast cathedral with all the lights turned off. The hush was solemn, the immensity breathtaking. For this one tiny moment in the Infinite Now, I was floating through a great eternal silence that breathed all around me.
Even then, I kept on trying to speak. What is this place? I asked. Please, somebody tell me where I am?
Then, way off in the distance, I saw a pinpoint of light coming towards me. What's that, I asked myself. Am I seeing something real? Or is this, after all, a dream of some kind?
The tiny dot of light kept getting bigger and bigger, until I could see that it was rectangular in shape. It looked like an envelope of light opening up, or like an opening door, tipped over on its side.
I thought to myself, a sideways door that moves through space. Where is that coming from?
Then right in the center of that rectangular Light, I saw a glowing sphere. The Light door faded as the brilliant sphere came closer to me, growing larger and larger. I gazed into the depths of that Light that moved ever closer to me, until it enveloped me.
And I was surrounded by ripples and cascades of Light, rising and falling all around me, like immense waves in the middle of a huge ocean. Held and sheltered within that mighty flow of Light, I was a tiny girlchild, newborn. I reached out with my glowing hand, and I touched the Light. Underneath my hand, the swell of a mother's breast took shape, and I was swept away by powerful currents of Light.